Monday, December 10, 2018

Finding the Spirit

Christmas is finally beginning to happen. I was in a panic last week, seriously lacking the spirit--the spirit to decorate. With everyone in such a rush to get their trees up, I feel like I'm not keeping up with the pace. I don't know what the hurry is all about or why I should even worry about it. In my past life--like a lifetime ago--the Christmas tree was fresh cut tree. The family would drive to my grandmother's cabin west of Denver where we'd tromp through waist deep snow to find the perfect tree. It went up December 20th, my birthday and came down on December 31st, my mother's birthday.

Now with many using an artificial tree, they go up even before Thanksgiving, so it is little wonder that some of us have anxiety if we are not keeping up with the crowd. Not so long ago this is the week that I'd be buried in a mountain of college English essays to grade then I'd have to figure grades, and finally post them. Now that was stress and Christmas did not happen until my work was done.

The decorating began yesterday. I'm not quite done yet, so here is the progress so far.

After the tree went up and was decorated I realized that this was Brody's first Christmas, so I decided that we needed to take the official First Christmas photo.

Brody knows sit-stay; he just has to be in the mood.

Sometimes he is easily bribed with a treat.

We have to wonder what he is thinking. Note: watch the sock monkey.

He loves soft toys, so we held our breath hoping that he wouldn't rip the Sock Monkey ornament off the tree.

The angel looked temping, too.

Actually, he has left all of the decorations along. He's been a very good boy.

You can't see them, but this tree is loaded with birds.

I always have two poinsettias, too. They arrived today.

Oops. Not quite done. I usually put my collection of snowmen here, but decided to relocate them.

The snow people show better here. Yep that's Brody photobombing.

I love my nutcracker. He's a thrift store rescue.

I'm not done with the dining table scape yet. Just playing around now.

The village is in place

and so is the  paper village that I made using my Circuit. I've collected some little vintage cars and trucks. Oddly they are all green, except for the little black one. The Head Gardener dug it up outside someplace. I kept it. 

The basement staging area. 

Christmas has even come to the one dollhouse. 

So there you have it. I am starting to get into the mood. Most of the shopping is done thanks to the Head Gardener who like to shop with the click of a mouse. 

Thanks so much for visiting. Join me at Mosaic Monday. I think I'm at the bottom of the list. 

Monday, November 19, 2018

So Many Things to be Thankful For

The count down to the big feast has begun in our house. We all know here in the States the importance of the feast: The Count Down to Black Friday Follows.

Not even heere are our house, anyway. It's the best day of the year to stay home. I'm not a big shopper and even if I were, I don't like crowds, so I'll wait until the urge to shop hits me, naturally, willingly, and I'll probably do a lot on line, too. And you?

I've been doing more genealogy research and have found that I may have another Revolutionary War descendent, my 9th generation great grandfather and either his son or his brother who fought also--hard to tell which one since they share the same name. I find that discovery very exciting. As I do my research, I read the stories that some researchers provide detailing what the ancestors did. Many of them were involved in their local governments, helping to build communities, states, and finally our great country. So for them I am Thankful. As a descendant of John Howland and his wife Elizabeth Tilley who came on the Mayflower, I am especially in thankful of their decision to get on that little wooden ship to travel to a new, unknown world to begin their life without any of the conveniences of their time. How brave they were.

We live a blessed life here at the Garden Spot with much to be thankful for. Most of the time life just hums along, but sometimes we get caught off guard, especially with our animals when we have to call for help.  We are most thankful for 3 amazing veterinarians, especially the one who saved our dear Pop's life. Jennifer's face reveals the stress and worry that we all faced a couple of weeks ago.

The Head Gardener was gone on a deer hunting trip. Jennifer came to the house to check on Sundance since he has a stubborn sinus infection that she has been treating. Since she was here, I didn't feed the boy; instead I left her in charge and left to tutor at the university, leaving the housekeeper to work her magic on the house. Half way to town, (a twenty minute drive), Jen called frantically telling me that Pop was choking. I had a full schedule of clients at the Writing Center and couldn't not show up so I couldn't turn around and go home, so I simply told her to call the vet.

Pop is 32 years old. He has lost most of his teeth and can't chew the grass or hay that he eats. Usually he just wads it up and spits it out instead of swallowing the wad of unchewed food. We suspect that he forgot to spit the grass that he had been eating earlier and the wad got stuck in his throat. The vet worked on him here at home for over an hour by inserting a small hose up his nose and into his esophagus to pump water in to dislodge the wad, but it didn't work. 

I was working with my clients and she was dealing with this crisis alone. I am really thankful that my housekeeper was here because she stayed with Jennifer until the vet arrived. Jen also called her dad who was two hours away and he came home. By the time I was done with my 2 hours of tutoring, the decision had been made to trailer Pop to the vet clinic so that the vet could put a camera in to see what was stuck.

I met them all at the vet's and we spent the rest of the afternoon watching this team of amazing young women work to save our little guy's life. He was sedated, so he didn't feel much pain, some discomfort from the tubes being inserted through his very narrow nasal passage. The vet inserted a small claw that she used to pick away at the mass in his esophagus and finally got enough picked out tiny piece by piece to flush the rest away with water. 

She finished by giving him an IV to replenish his electrolytes. Now he is very restricted.


He can no longer graze or eat hay without wearing a muzzle that keeps him from getting any grass. He wears a hood to protect his eyes from the sun, and he has to be stalled at night so that he have the muzzle removed; otherwise, he would eat Sundance's hay and the grass through the fence. He's been on hay pellets for a long time, but now his pellets have to be wet down to form an easy to swallow mush.

Horses do choke and while they can still breath with the stuck food, it will kill them if they are not treated. So we are most grateful for a young woman who has now saved both of our big boys. Sundance had colic when we first moved him here and she came and saved him. 

 We drove to Denver yesterday to get the grandsons so that they could go deer hunting with the Head Gardener, but I got my time with them, too. A while back Nathan asked me if I could teach him to "yarn." He meant "crochet," so I tried, but he had a hard time.

Now look at him. He wants to be able to his own fingerless gloves that I make for him.

And here they are in the deer blind out in eastern Colorado. 

They have hopes that the decoy will attract a deer. 

Day's end here at the Garden Spot. 

Do you hear them? Often you hear them before they appear: the Canada Geese that do their fly over every evening as they head for the corn fields for supper. There will be thousands upon thousands fly over, honking back and forth to each other, carrying on goose conversations. Sometimes they fly in the traditional perfect V while others groups prefer a straight line, or maybe just a bunch of geese. We like the sound of geese flying over.

Linking with Mosaic Monday. See you there.

Thanks so much visiting.

Happy Thanksgiving

Monday, November 5, 2018


November begins the holiday season. The Christmas decorations begin to appear, it seems, far too soon. Sometimes we get so wrapped up in a holiday season that has become Open Season for shoppers that we forget to just enjoy the day, the moment.

Birthdays, for example, sometimes get lost in the specter of a holiday that happens on or just before the holiday. Take for example my birthday just five days before Christmas or my youngest daughter's birthday the day before Christmas or her daughter's birthday the day before Halloween. Today I honor my eldest granddaughter on her 12th birthday as we celebrated her birthday Saturday night. You have seen the posts on her blooming into a--a--tween, though her mind she is at least 18 all ready. She loves horses and rabbits and horses. Her sister added the large photo of her when I am guessing that she was 6, maybe, on our pony Pop. And now she has dreams of being a barrel racer, thus the the horse running for the barrels on her cake.

CBS Sunday Morning TV show did a story on a photographer who spends the falls photography the gorgeous fall colors of New England, one of my destination day dreams. I then took my camera out to take photos of our fall colors.

Mine are not nearly as spectacular as the New England landscape. As I wrote a few weeks ago, an early fall snow ruined our fall colors.

One leave clings to the hawthorn berries. We planted the tree hoping to attract cedar waxwings. No luck yet.

Clinging leaves to the peach tree.

The neighbor's cottonwood leaves find their way to the koi pond.

Really. We do have two koi and 75+ goldfish that swim amongst the ash tree leaves.

My sleeping cherub napping in the dried leaves. Do you see the lady bug?

The coral bell hangs on. . .

. . . as does her sister.

Our Brody Boy is growing. He is the first pet that I have been to get a good head shot of. He was fascinated by the camera's light to prevent red-eye. He's 7 months old now. 

A big thank you to those who have hosted Mosaic Monday and now a thank you to Angie who has taken over the reins. I will invite you to join us at Ten Toes in the Water for Mosaic Monday, but then I think most of you have beaten me over there. I had intended to have my post done early this morning, but that didn't happen then this afternoon  Little Lily spent the afternoon. 

Monday, October 29, 2018

Fun, Games, and Toys

Saturday was show day. The granddaughters entered a small horses show, hoping to do some fancy timed competitions, but it turned out to a a fun day without the tough competition that their mother feared. Instead it was a day of games that helped the girls improve their riding skills. 

First, the girls had to get their horses and themselves ready for the first event, the Hallow e'en contest. Ellie chose a patriotic theme of red, white, and blue and got Hank all gussied up.

Lucy prepares Mairah for her home made concoction of flour and salt and paint to paint the mustang like an Indian pony--with fair results.

Mom made the Indian maiden costume. Pretty cute.

Hank sort of tolerated his mane in braids.

Lucy entered the next game, riding with an egg on a spoon. She lost the egg when they were asked to to turn at a trot.

In this game, the riders must hold on to the ribbon. Easy enough. Yeah right. 

Team work that won't last long.

This was good one: apple under the chin. Try getting a horse to comply when you have to concentrate keeping an apple under your chin.

The games were all fun and really good exercises for the girls and their horses as they were asked to do things that they don't normally do.  They had to concentrate on something other than the horse. It was a good day.

Sunday was a totally different experience: The Rocky Mountain Hobby Expo. If you like trains, plane, cars, and other toys, this was the place to be. My favorite dollhouse builder and supplier was there, so I made the solo trip to Denver and met the other daughter and her son there.

Legos! They are amazing. This is a Christmas village  with two working trains.

A weak smile from Nathan. He was tired, he said. Not his usually perky self.

There were several train displays, but this one was the most amazing. I took hurried photos, but it is a diorama of the Colorado front range. The detail was amazing. This is sight that one might see traveling through Eastern Colorado through the wheat farms with the tall grain silos with rail cars waiting to be loaded.

Love this sign. Cow tipping is the country is a thing--I think. 

A farm along the railroad. A mom hangs clothes on the clothes line. Familiar?

Travel through the front range and you pass trailer parks much like this one.

Just around the bend, the mountains appear. Looks like fall is on the way. We were trying to figure out which tunnel this one was. I should have asked.

And here comes the train, Union Pacific's California Zephyr. I rode the Zephyr as a small child. Momma took us back to Iowa to her home on the train. I always wanted to ride in the Vista Dome.

Around another bend and we are nearly back to the beginning. The detail of the display was wonderful and realistic. No. I don't want to start train display, but I think Heather does. She has a train set and would love set it up.  

Finally back home we confront reality of keeping livestock. On a happier day, our rooster Chanticleer lorded over his hens. Sadly, we lost the rooster last week. Old age. He began crowing long before dawn, around 4:30 and continued all day long letting his hens and us know who was boss. I always wondered what the neighbors thought of our early riser announcing the beginning of the day. Now I wonder if they miss him, too. Fortunately we never had any of the neighbors complain about his early morning noise. Most municipalities have regulations against roosters, but while we do live in the city limits we are zoned agricultural, so we can have a rooster. And now we don't. He was a pretty boy. 

I'm going Maggie at Life in Normandy for her last Mosaic Monday. It's been fun, Maggie. You have given me structure and discipline to make the deadline. Sometimes it was a really tight squeeze, like today as I hurry before the the link closes. Thank you for hosting. 

And thank you all for stopping by. If you have moment check out the dollhouse blog: Ann's Dollhouse Dreams. 

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